Die-hard NU fan keeps the faith

Sherry 0-9 at Wildcats bowl games but 'you can't not show up because that is year they will win'

Kevin F. Sherry witnessed Keyshawn Johnson knifing through the Purple in Pasadena, UCLA scoring 36 straight points in El Paso and Auburn appearing to win the Outback Bowl three times before it was official.

"I've seen us lose in so many different ways," he said, "and in so many different places."

Sherry, who lives in Andersonville and works on the Nintendo account for Golin Harris, has two Northwestern degrees and season tickets at both Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena.

But the combination that makes him really unusual is disposable income, work/family independence and unrequited love for the Wildcats. That has allowed him to attend all nine NU bowl games since the 1996 Rose, something not even coach Pat Fitzgerald can say.

He was coaching at Idaho in 2000, when Nebraska opened a can on Northwestern in the Alamo Bowl: "I had a fun party at my parents' house," Fitzgerald said, "until the game got ugly."

So Sherry is 9-for-9 in NU bowls. Which means he is 0-for-9 in victories heading into the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1. (The losing streak is tied for the longest with Notre Dame (1995-'07) in college football history.)

"There's a point at which you can't not show up," he said, "because that is the year they will win. But more than that, Northwestern has given me my closest friends and some of the greatest times of my life."

His best moment came at the Rose: "The parade, the whole spectacle … that was the turning point of the program."

Oddest moment? Encountering Nebraska fans at the 2000 Alamo.

"Sometimes fans from the winning team are drunk jerks, and they taunt you," Sherry said. "Nebraska's fans were almost consoling: 'You guys did a good job. Thanks for coming.'"

tgreenstein@tribune.com

Twitter @TeddyGreenstein

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